arches national park

Utah Woman Stuck In Quicksand For 14 Hours

A Utah woman was stuck in quicksand for 14 hours. The 78-year-old woman was reported missing after she failed to show up for an event at the local library where she was expected. Fortunately, the woman had some water with her, and was able to be rescued before sustaining any serious injuries.

Grand County Sheriff’s deputies said the woman stuck in quicksand was in good condition when found during the evening hours on July 9. The elderly Utah resident was sunk into the quicksand up to the knee.

Utah deputies searched along a bike path at the Courthouse Wash in Arches National Park where the elderly woman was known to stroll. Grand County Sheriff’s deputies found the woman’s car in the parking lot, and then heard her crying out for help. The deputies hiked about a quarter mile up the wash before finding the woman stuck in quicksand.

Arches National Park worker Sharon Brussell said it took about four hours to dig out he woman and rescue. The workers and the quicksand-trapped woman struggled during the rescue because the sand kept falling tightly back into the hole they were attempting to dig. While the 78-year-old woman was extremely tired, she was also gracious and grateful to her rescuers, who quickly used a litter to carry her to the parking lot.

Arches National Park features more than 2,000 natural stone arches, giant balanced rocks, tall pinnacles, and massive fin-shaped rocks.

Although it is rare to get stuck in quicksand in the area, local officials say it does happen when sandy areas become saturated with water. Brussell recalled a similar rescue not long ago which involved a cow stuck in quicksand. The national parks website warns that extreme temperatures and intense sunlight make the desert environment which encompasses the park, a “challenging” place to hike. Visitors are encouraged to study the weather before coming to the area so that they are prepared to “meet the challenge.”

The Courthouse Wash hiking and walking area is known to be a lovely area and far less crowded than other areas of the national park. Hiking the area typically takes several hours along the stream route. The more than five mile trek largely consists of easy hiking along the sandy wash area. The Climb Utah website cautions visitors to carry enough water to last at least half-a-day in the desert for the sake of safety. Fortunately, the Utah woman who was stuck in quicksand followed the advice, and was able to stay hydrated until rescuers arrived.

[Image Via: Agbeat]